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I'm traveling the United States interviewing people born before 1940 about how technology has changed us.
I'm traveling the United States interviewing people born before 1940 about how technology has changed us.
I'm traveling the United States interviewing people born before 1940 about how technology has changed us.
88 backers pledged $5,080 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Preserve History, Analyze Tech - the Untold Stories Project

$5,080

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A Kickstarter Staff Pick

A year ago, I was shocked at an NPR story that stated the children being born today won't know the concept of a telephone pole. After sitting with the knowledge for a few months, noticing the way kids in public are so attached to cell phones and other electronics, I decided to do something about it.

We have the unique opportunity to be able to tell children what it was like to live without all this tech straight from the mouths of those that lived it.  This is a generation of children who play outside less than 1 hour / day, compared to the 3+ hours of our elders.  I believe the narratives of our elders are a critical step in ensuring an understanding of where we've been.

So I've decided to drive across the country to write a book of stories.  I'm interviewing members of the Silent Generation - those born before 1940 - and I've already learned a lot.  I've talked to people who grew up without a car, who had to walk up a hill every day for water, who had to use kerosene lanterns for light.  These people truly understand what life was like before the majority of this technology hit the ground, and how it has affected us.

I require funding in order to drive to all these people.  Interviews must be conducted in person for two reasons:  it adds an urgency and respect for the stories I am asking of these elders, and it will provide a cohesiveness for the stories and images.  The funding will go to a rental car, gas, food, and shelter when couch surfing or if camping isn't possible.

This project will uncover how new generations not learning cursive in schools could hurt their learning, not teaching the times tables might change engineering and construction, and the use of smart phones is affecting child development.

Without funding, this project won't happen.

--------- UNLOCKING REWARDS!!! ---------

Everyone who backs the project at any level will receive these unlocking rewards should the below Stretch Goals be reached. This means you will directly benefit from sharing, promoting, and supporting this project. So go! Do!

$7,500 - this will provide funding for plane tickets to Alaska and Hawaii. I strongly feel that all 50 states should be included in this book in order to get a true historical narrative of our country.

Reward:  Making it to this level will unlock the audio vault for all backers.  You'll be able to listen to the entire interview of your favorite participants, rather than just an excerpt.

$10,000 - this will provide funding for plane tickets to Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.  Our territories also experience the advances in technology, and know how it has affected life in a unique way.

Reward:  All backers will have the opportunity to participate in five video interviews during the national tour.  You can ask me questions about what I have learned, favorite participants, and how things are going.  The video updates will be public, but only you will be able to ask questions!

Inside Scoop Videos

A series of video episodes explaining different aspects of the project.

> Quotes from the Interviews <

Nominate an Elder

"And then I saw that Statue of Liberty… that really, really meant something. I saluted her and she seemed to be saying to me, ‘Welcome home, soldier. You won the war. America is still free." - Virgil Westdale

“Teachers are so important – they can see things that you can’t see in yourself.” - Harriet Berg

“The kids today are stuck in this era, and a lot of the parents are, also… The kids don’t get out and do the activities that we did…”  - Kenneth Ladner

"Slowly, over the years, I’ve lost my racism.”  - Thomas Lawson

"We never grew up."  - Dagmar Booth

Press

HerStry Blog Book Introduction

Rapid Growth Innovation News

WGVU News Morning Show

Grand Rapids Business Journal Feature

Grand Rapids Business Journal Street Talk 

WGVU Morning Show

Risks and challenges

There are several cultures in this country that are traditionally closed to outsiders. My training as an Anthropologist has been extremely useful in understanding cultures foreign to myself, and in communicating on their terms - most notably in serving as a first responder after the tsunami in American Samoa. It is my first priority to make participants feel comfortable and safe in the project.

Winter also poses an impending problem. If this attempt toward funding doesn't succeed, I'll be forced to rethink the time table in order to safely complete the project.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You kick butt. Thank you for supporting a project that will certainly reveal just what we have lost / gained to all this technology.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you's will be sent all over Social Media, so be sure to include your Twitter Handle (etc.) with your donation.

    Thank you!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    I will send you a thank you post card from a mystery location along the way, with a short anecdote of the journey.

    You will also receive Reward #1.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Your name will be included as a backer on the thank you page of the published book. You will also be sent a thank you via Social Media as in Reward #1.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You will receive a signed photograph of your favorite interviewee. You will also receive the previous two Rewards.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    LIMITED EDITION

    10 backers will receive a custom hand-drawn representation of a quote from the interviews. You may choose the one you prefer and I will try to comply, but it is first come, first serve.

    You will also receive the previous Rewards.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    I have a lot of nominees, some of whom I may not be able to get to. This reward guarantees that I will make it to interview your family member / elder. You will be welcome to sit in on the interview to listen to the history, and have access to the materials after. Make sure you nominate your elder here or on the website!

    You will also receive the previous Rewards.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A copy of the book autographed by yours truly.

    You will also receive the previous Rewards.

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Funding period

- (30 days)